Why A Jew Supports Christian America
By Don Feder
FrontPageMagazine.com | December 23, 2004
In America today, Christians have many enemies and few friends. I would
like to be counted among the latter.
It might appear odd that, as a Jew, I would support Christians and the
concept of Christian America. Once upon a time, it would have seemed
equally strange for a Christian to call himself a Zionist.
But the world is forever and relentlessly changing. As a member of one
of the most persecuted minorities in history, I can relate to what
Christians are experiencing in the first decade of the 21st century.
In America today, devout Christians are rapidly assuming the roles
traditionally assigned to Jews during the long centuries of exile:
scapegoats, objects of ridicule, the focal point of conspiracy theories,
and the despised "other."
Do I exaggerate? Consider the following examples (culled from the daily
news) of what can only be called an anti-Christian onslaught:
According to a just-released survey by the Parents Television Council,
portrayals of religion (mostly Christianity) on prime time television
are overwhelmingly negative. On NBC, there are 9.5 negative
representations of faith for every positive depiction. Christians as
buffoons or villains has become a staple of comedies and dramas.
Mel Gibson’s The Passion was the most vilified film of 2004 – as well as
one of the most popular. But while the cultural elite found this
reverent treatment of Jesus ominous, movies that mock Christianity (such
as Saved) or those that treat Christian clerics as sinister figures
(like King Arthur) hardly raise an eyebrow.
Ron Howard will direct and Tom Hanks star in the screen adaptation of
The Da Vinci Code, in which Jesus and Mary Magdalene have a child and a
Catholic order commits murder to cover up the truth. This is a far cry
from The Greatest Story Ever Told and The Song of Bernadette – but
typical of Hollywood’s treatment of Christianity today.
Whenever Christians raise their heads, someone starts taking pot shots.
For instance, the Air Force Academy is cracking down on what it
considers aggressive proselytizing. Among other allegedly offensive
behavior, some Christian cadets had the audacity to suggest that their
squadron see The Passion of the Christ as a group. If that weren’t
enough, cadets are including Bible quotes at the bottom of their
e-mails. Mandatory sensitivity training is underway. What about a little
sensitivity for future officers of a religious bent and an
acknowledgement of the fact that, under fire, our military personnel
don’t find inspiration from the latest misinterpretation of the First
A double standard is evolving where public acknowledgement of other
faiths is allowed, but not Christianity. Bar Harbor Islands, Florida,
decorates its lampposts with Stars of David to commemorate Hanukkah and
permits a local synagogue to set up a 14-foot menorah in a prominent
public place, but won’t allow public display of a Nativity scene. For
several years, New York’s public schools have put up menorahs and Moslem
crescents during the holiday season, but not mangers – even though 85
percent of the American people are self-identified Christians.
For the third straight year, Planned Parenthood (the nation’s largest
abortion provider) is mocking a sacred season for Christians by selling
greeting cards with the message, "Choice on Earth" – suggesting perhaps
that, for Mary and Joseph, Jesus was an option?
More and more colleges and universities are refusing to recognize
Christian groups for supposedly violating the school’s
non-discrimination policy, by declining to admit non-Christians and
homosexuals. The choice thus presented to Christian students is:
renounce the principals of your faith, or forego university support.
In Philadelphia, four Christians, members of a group called Repent
America, are being prosecuted for quietly praying and reading Bible
verses at a gay celebration, funded by the city. (This notwithstanding
that the Christians obeyed police orders and remained at all time
peaceful, even while being accosted by militant homosexuals.) The four –
ages 17 to 72 – are charged with a variety of misdemeanors and felonies
(including criminal conspiracy, ethnic intimidation, and riot). If
convicted, they could face 47 years in prison, essentially for
practicing their religion. The American Civil Liberties Union – so
concerned with the free-speech rights of pornographers and the
procedural rights of terrorists – has yet to be heard from here.
The attitude of the news media (which regularly refers to evangelicals
as "fundamentalists" – with the implication of fanaticism and a tendency
toward violence) can best be summed up by a 1994 Washington Post story
which described conservative Christians as ‘poor, uneducated and easy to
command." Since the election, some liberal commentators have taken to
referring to the red states as "Jesus-land."
The ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State are on
a search-and-destroy mission to purge Christian symbols from public
places. Targets include Ten Commandments monuments in courthouses,
crosses in public parks, the cross in the Los Angeles County seal and a
quote by Theodore Roosevelt ("The true Christian is the true citizen")
on a wall in the Riverside, Calif.ornia, courthouse – not to mention the
9th Circuit Appeals Court’s attempt to take "one nation under God" out
of the Pledge of Allegiance.
How can anyone with a basic sense of fairness not be outraged by this?
In the face of a political pogrom, concerned Jews must rally to the
defense of our Christian neighbors.
My support for Christian America is in part based on gratitude. I am
exceedingly grateful for Christian support for Israel, especially from
the evangelical community.
A generation ago, the term Christian Zionist was an oxymoron. Today,
American Christians are a mainstay of public support for Israel. Without
their help, U.S. Middle East policy would be far less sympathetic to the
Jewish state – a fact recognized by every Israeli prime minister for the
past 20 years, all of whom have assiduously courted the Christian Right.
I’m also grateful to Christians for America. I love this country and
can’t even begin to imagine what my life would be like if I wasn’t an
It’s a truth seldom acknowledged: Christians created America.
Those settlers who most influenced the course of our nation (including
the Pilgrims and Puritans) were committed Christians, who –
significantly – drew their inspiration from the Hebrew Bible.
Overwhelmingly, the Founding Fathers were men of faith. Alexis de
Tocqueville, that prescient observer of our infant Republic, said the
genius of America is found not in her commerce, her schools, or her
democratic institutions, but in her churches, with "pulpits aflame with
Throughout the course of our national existence, America has been led by
individuals guided by Christian principles – from George Washington to
George W. Bush.
From Bunker Hill to Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima to Iraq, the men who’ve
taken up arms to defend America overwhelmingly have been Christians.
Count the number of crosses at the U.S. cemetery at Normandy or
contemplate the pictures of young Marines praying in the field in Mosul.
America took in my immigrant grandparents, allowed them to practice
their ancient faith in peace, permitted their children and grandchildren
to achieve a degree of material comfort found nowhere else on earth, and
to enjoy citizenship rights that Jews have rarely known during the 2,000
years of Diaspora – for all of which I am indebted to Christians.
Moreover, I believe America’s survival rests with Christians. This
nation was founded on biblical morality and grew to greatness with that
code. Without it, America cannot long endure.
Christians are manning the barricades in the battle to preserve our
nation’s spiritual heritage, represented by the expression "The
If America isn’t one nation under God, what will it be? One nation under
a culture that’s produces 1.4 million violent crimes (murders, rapes and
assaults), 1.3 million abortions, and one million new cases of venereal
disease each year?
Will we have liberty and equality for all (again, distinctly biblical
concepts), or will we be one nation under a welfare state whose
principal products are a crushing tax burden, fatherless families, and
Will America be a nation of strong families – where children are
nurtured and parents respected – or the me-as-the-sum-of-all-things
society into which we are rapidly devolving? The sacrifices required to
keep a nation together are based on faith, not calculations of personal
This is what Christianity gave – and continues to give – America.
Finally, I believe the safety of American Jews lies with Christian
In secular Europe, Jews are beaten in the streets. Our college campuses
– dogmatically liberal – have turned into snake pits of anti-Zionism and
anti-Semitism. The news media, which are so hostile to Christianity, are
equally antagonistic toward Israel. (Christians aren’t the only ones in
desperate need of allies.)
There is a dark force spreading across the globe, rivaling the march of
fascism in the '30s and '40s, and of communism is the postwar era. Call
it Islamic fundamentalism, militant Islam, Jihadism, or what you will,
it is animated by a burning hatred of Christians and Jews. The same
toxic creed that murders Jews in Israel and attacks Jews in Europe,
kills Christians in Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans, and Asia – and
members of both faiths (and others, including their own) in America.
As never before in our two millennia of joint history, Jews and
Christians need each other. The antithesis of the Judeo-Christian ethic
isn’t a world-weary disbelief, but modern paganism – where victims are
sacrificed to new gods, deities spawned by ideology but every bit as
bloody as the gods old – or a world colored Islamic green.
For all of the above – and because I am bound by honor and conscience to
do so – as a Jew, I stand with Christian America.